UCLA withdrew from its scheduled football game against North Carolina State on Tuesday, ending the Holiday Bowl in San Diego hours before kick-off.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. PST, the school announced that it would not be playing due to the “Bruins’ program protocols” of Covid-19.
the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl has officially announced that the game will not be played less than two hours before it kicks off at Petco Park at 5 p.m. local time.
“We are disappointed and sorry that the SDCCU Holiday Bowl is not being played tonight”, the organizers tweeted around 3:30 p.m. PST. “Absolutely heartbroken. We will share more information soon.”
The San Diego Padres, who play at Petco Park, announced that more information will be released regarding refunds for the game. The Holiday Bowl is considered one of the top tier bowl games not played on New Years Eve or January 1st.
Before bowl organizers officially called off Tuesday’s action, NC State conceded the Wolfpack would return to Raleigh without playing a game.
Despite this seemingly definitive statement from NC State, organizers of the Holiday Bowl on Tuesday night still had a silver lining that college football could be played at Petco Park.
“We don’t want to officially cancel the game until we have exhausted all opportunities to find a replacement team,” the Holiday Bowl said in a statement shortly before 7:00 p.m. local time when UCLA and NC State should have be in the third quarter of their regular game.
As cases of Covid-19 increase across the country, a slew of post-season college football games – including the Hawaii, Army, Fenway and Arizona bowls – have been canceled due to infections of players from participating teams.
The Sun Bowl, which lost the University of Miami to a Covid-related withdrawal on Sunday, only survived because Central Michigan University was only 4.5 hours from Tucson when its opponent Arizona Bowl, Boise State, had to back down.
And the Gator Bowl, which lost Texas A&M to Covid, was forced to invite 5-7 Rutgers to maintain their contest, featuring the powerful ACC finalist Wake Forest, for cancellation.
The college football playoff semifinals are scheduled for Friday, ahead of the title game now scheduled for Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.
With Covid-19 cases increasing across the country because of the omicron variant, CFP officials conceded last week that teams could advance to the final, or even be declared champions, by forfeits from Covid.